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Post embargo optimism - Interview
Monday, 11th Jan 2016 21:00 by Clive Whittingham

For the second time this season we welcome Blackburn fan James Hands to LFW to give us his views on the departure of Gary Bowyer, the arrival of Paul Lambert and the lifting of the club’s transfer embargo.

Assess Blackburn's season so far for us…

JH: Again, another frustrating season for Rovers. In the main performances have been pretty good and arguably our points tally does not reflect how well we have played in some games. That said our lack of goals is a worry despite having one of the best strikers in the league we are struggling to create chances & my concern is if we do not improve in this area then we will be looking over our shoulders for the rest of the season. We do have an opportunity in the second half of the season to find some consistency and finish strongly, especially as we can now sign players.

Gary Bowyer seemed to do a decent job under difficult circumstances, why was he sacked? What did you think of the decision? How will he be remembered?

JH: Gary Bowyer did a terrific job for the club and supporters will always remember and appreciate the good work he has done to stabilise the club. To reduce our extraordinarily high wage bill and also to bring in good, young hungry players was a great achievement and because of this I am sure he will be back in football very soon.

I think it’s fair to say that Blackburn are now a ‘stable’ club again and we required a manager with Championship/promotion experience to take us to the next level which is the play-offs/auto promotion- sadly Gary was never going to be the man to do this. I fully supported the decision but at the same time it was sad to see a good man sacked, which Gary Bowyer is.

What did you think of Paul Lambert's arrival at the time, and how has he done so far? What has he changed?

JH: I am optimistic that Paul Lambert will prove to be an excellent appointment by the club especially as we are now out of the transfer embargo. Lambert will need time to assess the current squad and also time to bring in his own players and in time (next season) I am confident that we will be challenging at the right end of the table. So far after an encouraging start we have seen results dip but I believe the reason behind this is due to the quality of our squad but also that it will take a bit of time for Lambert’s style of play to impose itself on the players which is a lot different to Gary Bowyer’s.

What's the current transfer embargo status at the club? Any threat of incomings or outgoings in January?

JH: As mentioned above we are out of the transfer embargo and the future objective is to never go back into it as its definitely been our Achilles heel over the past 12 months. That said we are in a position to trade so I’m hopeful that Lambert will bring in some good loans in January in a view to making some quality purchases in the summer. Sadly, we will never be in a position to splash £5-10 million on a player again. I am sure that there will be outgoings in January both as loans and permanent deals- the rumours surrounding Jordan Rhodes have already started but I am sure Venky’s will try and resist selling him.

Stand out performers and weak links in the side?

JH: So far our defence have been the outstanding performers in our side with Shane Duffy and Grant Hanley performing exceptionally well all season. I would love to say that we have no weak links but quite often in games we are terribly exposed in central midfield and also scoring goals is proving a problem.

Hopes for the rest of this season and beyond?

I hope in 2016 that we can have a respectable finish to this season (maybe top ten) then make some quality signings in the summer and be one of the favourites for promotion next season. It will be a tall order but we have the right man in charge to do this.

The Twitter @Kittman14, @loftforwords

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TacticalR added 22:34 - Jan 11
Thanks to James.

It seems to me Bowyer did a pretty good job in bringing a bit of sanity back to the club. It's strange that he was sacked just before the embargo was lifted...perhaps the owners did not trust him to spend the money?

Burnleyhoop added 10:26 - Jan 12
Looking forward to the game tonight. Putting a tenner on a shockingly abysmal 0-0 draw.
Roll on death.

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